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Uni stress

PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 4:19 pm
by Lust
Hey PPers :)

Just been to a UCAS fair at Derby uni yesterday and suddenly the pressure of finidng a Uni is dawning on me. I didnt think it would come round this fast but im fast approaching the end of year 12 and everyone is talking about where to go next year for Uni.

Thing is, i love art and enjoy doing the work, however i feel i am not good enough for Uni. I thought like this before starting my A levels because i thought it would be a big leap up, but in A levels im getting pretty good grades in it i think *i do a BTEC in it so not sure of exact grade* im heading for a distinction apparantly, but i still dont feel as if i'd be good enough for art at Uni, even though it'd be amazing for me to be able to do an art course.

Basically, what im wondering is has anyone on here been/doing an Art course at University and if so, what's it like? Also, has anyone on here done 2 subjects at Uni, cause im thinking if maybe Art and English is an option? Cause my mum suggested i took another course if i did art just in case it doesnt get me anywhere.

Hope this made sence :lol:

Re: Uni stress

PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 9:24 am
by Bel Bel
I agree with your mum, unless your exceptional at art it's very difficult to find work related to it after uni, and even when your exceptional it doesn't always happen.
Another subject would be a good idea
Have you any idea what you want to do when you leave uni because picking a course that will help you with your choosen career would be the best thing to do

Re: Uni stress

PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 9:34 am
by dipsydoodlenoodle
Send away to a few universities you are interested in for a prospectus and have a look at courses they offer. Some uni's will offer joint honours courses (i.e. two courses).

I also agree with your mam and Bel Bel.

Re: Uni stress

PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 9:38 am
by rufio89
I disagree actually, you dont have to be exceptional if you want to go into art industry - design, graphics etc, it's only if you want to just "make it as an artist" that you really have to be incredible (and lucky!). Or you can go into art teaching etc.

However, I would suggest you do an art foundation course if you're concerned that you're not at the required level?

Re: Uni stress

PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 12:37 pm
by dipsydoodlenoodle
rufio89 wrote:However, I would suggest you do an art foundation course if you're concerned that you're not at the required level?

That is a good suggestion actually.

Also you did mention you were expected a distinction grade; to get into uni that is perfectly acceptable.

It is far to easy to be critical of your own work

Re: Uni stress

PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 6:20 pm
by crumpetsandtea
I am doing an Art and Design related degree and this is the stuff I wish I knew when I applied!

My Art teacher always used to say to me that he wished he had never done Art, and that he wished he had done Illustration instead (as he later discovered this was where his passion lay). I'll never forget the words he used when he said that with Art, 'you become a jack of all trades, but a master of nothing'. I never really understood what he meant until I got to uni and I realised how broad Fine Art can be. Art is all about concepts and ideas and how you express that through your work, and as a result it is extremely broad!

So if you can specialise, whether it be Illustration, Graphics, 3D Design, or Textiles, do it! Having a specific skill will make you a lot more employable, and will also give you a lot more focus when you graduate.

You said you are doing a BTEC, is this a BTEC Art and Design Foundation? If not, I THOROUGHLY recommend you do one for the following reasons;

1) No degree course worth its salt will let anyone on without completing an Art Foundation. If they don't ask for one as an entry requirement, don't bother applying.

2) When you start your foundation you are briefly inducted into a range of subject areas, these are usually Fine Art (including photography), Fashion and Textiles, Visual Communication (which is Graphics, Illustration and Animation) and 3D Design (which can include Ceramics and Glass, Jewellery and Silversmithing, Sculpture or even Product Design). They give you a chance to sample everything in the first half of the course before you specialise at the end and give you an insight into areas you may not have previously considered.

3) Most universities will guarantee degree course places to anyone who passes their foundation course. Many colleges are affiliated with universities and offer similar deals. So if you have a dream university, applying for the foundation first could be a good way into the uni.

When you start looking at universities, find out as much about them as you can. What is the studio space like? A lot of universities don't have studio spaces anymore, so you have to work from home, so anywhere you can find with a decent studio space where you get your own desk is fantastic.
Find out whether they offer a placement year with a company (this kind of work experience can lead to jobs in the future and give you an edge). Find out whether they have links with or run competitions with any companies (this can also be a good route into a job). Do they go to trade shows (such as Indigo for Textiles) as these prove fantastic opportunities to showcase yourself and sell work. Find a uni that goes to shows such as New Designers or Free Range, these can be a springboard for your career.
Find out the statistics for the course you want to do. How many people get jobs? This will give a good indication of what the careers service is like.

Remember that a career Art and Design is a 'dream' job and it will take a lot more dedication, blood, sweat and tears to get into than most careers. Any work experience you can pick up along the way will help a lot.

As far as I am aware, I don't know any Schools of Art and Design who combine honours with an academic degree. I know my uni and the one I did my foundation at didn't. It could be something to look into, but I would be a little wary, as you may get a slightly diluted experience, and your portfolio might not have the depth as someone who just did the one subject.

If you don't make it in Art, a degree is still a degree. You could always do a PGCE and become a teacher afterwards and use that to fall back on, or there are plenty of graduate schemes about when you finish.

Feel free to PM me if you have any questions! Or if you want any honest opinions on universities (I have a few I would recommend and a few I wouldn't touch with a barge pole!). I am more than happy to answer any other questions you have, because I know what you're going through!